We have a PDQ32 with twin Yamaha 9.9 high thrust outboards. Displacement
is 7200 lbs bare - more like 8500 lbs for out typical short cruises to date. A few observations about the engines:
I had always assumed we would get a boat with an inboard diesel
, but when this boat came on the market, I decided to take an objective look at the gas outboard
option. The choice was less obvious than I originally thought. Having used the boat for a year, including a trip down the Washington
coast into an ugly south wind
, I am satisfied with the outboards.
My concerns were the usual: Reliability
economy, prop lifting, etc.
was my number one concern. There is no way an outboard will have the same reliability as a properly maintained diesel
. The newer outboards are pretty good though, and with two engines, I actually think I'm better off than with a single
diesel (i.e. what all cruising monohulls have) but obviously not up to the reliability of twin diesels.
system problems in salt water
are a big problem. I plan to install a built in flushing
system. Blocked cooling
passages seem to be the number one cause of early failure for these engines when used in salt water
. I also plan to add temperature gauges with alarms.
I think the safety
problems with gas can be managed. Our fuel locker is separate from everything else and is vented at the bottom. The fuel line runs to the engines are short and well protected. Also, most cruisers must deal with gas anyway for their dinghy engine
Fuel economy is worse than a diesel, but not horrible for four strokes. We often run only a single engine
and back off a bit on speed, which really helps.
The prop lifting problem depends a lot on the boat design and engine location. Our boat is a center cockpit
design with the engines about a third of the way forward on each side of the cockpit
. We rarely experience over rev. I think that cats with outboards hanging off the back of the hulls are bad news.
One thing I really like about the outboards is that they can be hand started with a pull rope
. We actually had to do this on a recent trip when a starter failed and it was quite easy. We both practiced the procedure - my 120 lb wife had no trouble hand starting the motor
. Note that the motor
will start and run even if the entire electrical system
has failed. Make sure you have clearance for hand starting. The Seawind
1000, for example, has it's Yamaha 9.9's in deep wells which preclude a clean pull. The owner of KatieKat added a block to direct the pull upward and reports easy hand starting.
The raising/lowering thing is a bit of a pain but acceptable. The earlier comments about the latching mechanism are correct. It is a poor design. It sometimes fails to latch when the motor is lowered and if you then put it in reverse, watch out!. We now have a rule
onboard about opening the engine well and double checking the latch after lowering the engines.
A PDQ36 owner recently replaced his 9.9's with the new high thrust 8's. He reports nearly the same performance and LOVES the electric